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By Leslie Marinelli for TWSS

Tween Girl pin

As my daughter approaches the age of 13 next month, I find myself reflecting back on the last three years and thinking . . .


Yes, karma is alive and well and I have never loved or respected my own mother more than I do now that it’s my turn on the constantly revolving carousel of hormones.

In the spirit of sisterhood, if you have a daughter who is a tween or about to become a tween, here are 22 of the things I have discovered the hard way over the past few years:

  1. Sometimes you will catch a glimpse of your tween daughter and see a reflection of yourself at that age. It is eerie, and also pretty cool.
  2. You will wish you had realized how pretty you were at that age, back when you were busy wishing for bigger boobs and clearer skin . . .
  3. . . . particularly now, because your tween daughter never misses an opportunity to tell you how large your pores are and ask questions like, “When I grow up, will my boobs be as long as yours?”
  4. Don’t worry, you can use that to your advantage. Flashing her your dimpled, naked torso is a great way to promote abstinence! “Oh this extra flap of belly skin? That’s caused by sex. Just say no, hon.”
  5. Brace for impact: as hurtful as her words can be from time to time, you’ll forget all about that the minute she needs a hug.
  6. And that’s when you’ll notice it’s time to talk about deodorant.
  7. And bras. And pads. And hormonally-charged fits of rage.
  8. Speaking of which, if you and your daughter get on the same menstrual cycle, your husband and sons will need to get really good at either hiding or ducking.
  9. And on those particularly emotional days, Girls Night In with your tween daughter is THE BEST THING EVER. She can make the popcorn and brownies all by herself now, and she finally likes to watch Fried Green Tomatoes as much as you do!
  10. Enjoy it while you can though because it won’t be long before she’d rather have a Girls’ Night OUT with actual girls and not her long-breasted mama who can’t seem to stop crying about what happened to Buddy Threadgoode that fateful day in Whistle Stop.
  11. Oh yes, ALL ABOARD THE FEELINGS TRAIN. Every single one of her heartbreaks will feel like YOUR heartbreaks . . . all over again.
  12. And there will be many. So you might feel like a wrung-out washcloth most of the time. (Hey, you look like one anyway.)
  13. Fortunately, a tweenage girl needs more sleep than she did in elementary school.
  14. Which is good, because that’s less waking time available for the CONSTANT NAGGING you’ll be tempted to do about the state of the clothing mountain known as her bedroom.
  15. On the plus side, you will rejoice when she finally outgrows the desire to shop at the fresh hell that is Justice.
  16. Until you realize she wants to start shopping at stores like J. Crew and Ann Taylor where the prices make you wish you only had boys, or dogs.
  17. On that note . . . can’t find your new sweater? Check your tween daughter’s bedroom floor.
  18. Conversely, need a cute sweater? Wearing your daughter’s cast offs has its benefits, especially now that she has such good taste!
  19. Try not to kill her when you discover she used your expensive new eye shadow palette to transform the neighbor kids into zombies for her latest iMovie project. (Thanks, YouTube!)
  20. Speaking of technology, I’ve got two words for you: PARENTAL CONTROLS.
  21. Yes, you will lose sleep agonizing about all the pressures and dangers kids face today thanks to the Internet and social media.
  22. Until you realize how convenient it is to text her that you’re in the school parking lot instead of charging into her middle school chorus practice wearing her old Justice sweatpants and shouting, “TOWANDA!”

Tween and Mom


That’s What She Said speaker (2014 and 2015) Leslie Marinelli is an award-winning writer, comedian, and mother of three with a green belt in Taekwondo and a black belt in bathroom humor. She’s the CEO and Editor-in-Chief of “In the Powder Room,” a popular online women’s humor community, and the editor and co-author of the best-selling humor anthology, “You Have Lipstick on Your Teeth.” Connect with her on Twitter @TheBeardedIris and Facebook , or find out about her latest projects and upcoming performances at LeslieMarinelli.com.



Comments (2)

  1. Amanda elder Reply

    February 5, 2016 at 7:21 am

    Naturally, I LOLed all through this!

    • thatswhat Reply

      February 5, 2016 at 9:19 am

      Me, too! She nailed it, huh?

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